2014 State Election: VFF Priorities

Victorian Farmers Federation plan for Agriculture: 2014 State Election Priorities  



? =      The party has been contacted and not provided a response
NO =   The party has not made a commitment 

VFF State Election Priorities Labor Policy

Alpine Grazing

  • Continuation and expansion of the existing Alpine Grazing trial.
CLICK HERE for policy document
Labor does not believe the Alpine National Park is a place for cattle.

Animal Activist Invasions

  • Strengthen protection for unlawful entry to land, including biosecurity breaches.
CLICK HERE for policy document
The current laws needs to be adequately policed, rather than new laws being created. However the risks around biosecurity should be taken into account by magistrates following any successful prosecution under existing laws.
Bee Sites
  • Guarantee beekeepers access to public land bee sites
  • Mark and record all public land bee
  • Apply Special Management Zones to limit clearfell logging near bee sites in eastern
CLICK HERE for policy document

"A Labor Government will work with Apiarists to address issues that affect the industry and to support it to grow into the future." - Jacinta Allan

Cattle Underpass Scheme

  • Commit $3 million over four years.
CLICK HERE for policy document

Previous Labor Government’s pioneered and supported cattle underpasses across Victorian farming communities. We would welcome discussions with VFF on the future of this program.

Agricultural Research, Development & Extension


  • Continuation of a commitment to $4 million a year for industry-supported R&D.
  • Ongoing commitment of $4 million per year for six years for the AgriBio Centre at La Trobe University for dairy bioscience R&D.
  • Ongoing commitment of $2.2 million per year invested in extension programs coordinated by the dairy industry to accelerate uptake of new technologies, farming systems and advanced business management skills.
UDV State Election Policy Platform


Labor believes R and D funding is crucial to the future of the industry. Labor’s Regional Jobs Fund will support grants to be awarded to proposals that combine research, innovation and market delivery. Priority
will be given to projects that include a University or TAFE partner to grow skills and develop a specialised workforce.

Labor will create a $1 million foundation to support research in the horticulture industry. 

DEPI Resourcing

  • Increase staffing and capabilities to manage biosecurity outbreaks
  • Increased funding for agricultural services, including veterinary and animal health officers
  • Maintain staffing and resources for auditing to retain export access
CLICK HERE for policy document

Drought Support

  • Commit to state-based in-drought business support
  • Advocate for further support from Federal Government
CLICK HERE for policy document

Yes. Previous Labor government have delivered State based drought support.

Electronic Identification of sheep

  • It must remain voluntary
CLICK HERE for policy document

Labor won't be introducing the mandatory electronic tagging of sheep until there is a nationally consistent approach that is affordable for farmers and well supported by industry.


  • On-farm Energy Efficiency Grants of $9 million over three years
  • Abolish the VEET scheme
  • Develop a Victorian Energy Strategy
  • Fund strategic replacement of SWER lines with three-phase power
CLICK HERE for policy document

The VEET scheme supports 2100 jobs. Labor is committed to keeping the VEET scheme running.

Farm Crime

Labor has no plans to withdraw Victoria Police Agricultural Liaison Officer resources.

Fire & Fuel Load Management

  • Traffic Management Points – managed to allow farmers back into their properties to care for livestock after fires
  • Fencing
  • Fire breaks
  • Reduce roadside fuel loads
CLICK HERE for policy document

Labor will invest $141.3 million to recruit an additional 350 CFA career firefighters.

Fire Services Property Levy

Cap the FSPL amount that farmers pay

If elected, an Andrews Labor Government would review the operation of the Fire Services Property Levy with a view to improving the fairness of its impact.

Flood Mitigation

  • Funding to renew priority levee banks

Labor supports the recommendations arising from the Bipartisan Flood Mitigation Infrastructure in Victoria Inquiry.

Labor will make sure the income from water and environmental levees is targeted to where it should go - to local environmental and infrastructure projects.

Fox Bounty

  • Continue the $10 Fox Bounty
CLICK HERE for policy document
 Labor will continue the $10 fox bounty, but has not indicated how much will be allocated over the next four years 

Grain Trader Licensing

  • Licence all Grain Traders, with an associated indemnity fund (Consistent with our overseas competitors and other Australian industries)
CLICK HERE for policy document

High Productivity Vehicles (HPVs)

  • Increase mass limits for B-doubles from 68.5 tonnes to 74.5 tonnes.
  • Regional studies to facilitate HPVs and improve B-double access.
CLICK HERE for policy document
Labor has a $1 billion outer suburban roads fund and a $1 billion regional roads fund.

These funds will be directed toward the maintenance of roads which will support Victoria’s supply chain and increase productivity.

The capacity of roads and bridges in priority areas in regional Victoria needs to be assessed before mass limit changes can be considered for HPV and B- Double vehicles. 

Labor takes a whole of supply chain perspective. Labor will work with industry and councils to lower the cost of doing business, whether this is asset investment, regulation or other facilitation by Government.

Intensive Industries


Local Government

  • Commit to an Inquiry into Local Government Sustainability
  • $1.4 million over four years towards establishing Rural Advisory Committees in rural and regional shires
  • Support rationalisation of local government environmental overlays

Labor has committed $3.5 million plan to make sure the Networked Rural Councils program is continued, so rural councils can speak with one voice and stand up for locals.

 Labor will also dedicate $100 million towards the ten regional cities and $70 million towards the 38 rural councils out of the $250 million Regional Infrastructure Fund

Labor will introduce an inflation cap on council rate rises


Land Stewardship

  • More funding for incentive programs, such as Bush Tender
  • Funding farmer incentives to support voluntary riparian works, such as fencing, weed and vermin control
  • More effective markets for native vegetation offsets
  • Strengthen current agricultural exemptions for native vegetation clearing
  • Commit to keep fencing of Crown river frontages voluntary
CLICK HERE for policy document

Mining and On-shore Gas

  • Grant landholders power of veto
  • Make water from onshore gas developments available for agricultural production
  • Extend the present moratorium on issuing new gas exploration licences and fracking for at least another term of government.
CLICK HERE for policy document

Labor will maintain a moratorium into non-conventional gas extraction, until such time as science proves that it’s safe and there is broad community support for its application.


Mobile black spots

Labor will release its policies closer to the election


Parks Legislation


Pests and Weeds

  • Improved management and resources to manage pests and weeds on public land
  • More funding to support council roadside weed and pest management
CLICK HERE for policy document

Planning Reform

  • Amend the Farming Zone provisions to recognise it is a production zone.
  • Reinstate the requirement that tourism and/or accommodation in the farming zone must be in conjunction with agriculture.

Port of Melbourne

  • Strong independent oversight of port access and charges
CLICK HERE for policy document
 Labor has committed to pursue a long term lease (period subject to expert advice) of the Port of Melbourne in order to fund vital transport infrastructure works.

It may be necessary through that process to amend the current regulatory regime, as was the case when the NSW Coalition Government undertook its port privatisation program.

 In formulating these Labor would seek to ensure that the competitiveness of the port and of Victoria’s freight and export industries was not disadvantaged by the new arrangements.


Rail Freight Upgrades & Standardisation

  • $250 million for rail standardisation and upgrade
CLICK HERE for policy document


Red Tape Commissioner

Labor has no plans to increase funding for the Red Tape commissioner.

Road Funding

  • South Gippsland Hwy upgrade
  • Detailed scoping study for the North-East Link (M80 Ring Road to Eastern Fwy)
CLICK HERE for policy documents

Labor has committed $1 billion over 8 years to regional roads.

Rather than spending $8 billion on the East West tunnel this money will be funnelled back into the regional and rural roads that so desperately need it.

 Rural Mental Health   • $4 million over four years to save the National Centre for Farmer Health    

State Taxes

  • Retain the Primary Producer Registration
  • Double the payroll tax-free threshold from $550,000 to $1.1m
  • Remove stamp duty on asset transfers between businesses.
CLICK HERE for policy document

Labor has committed to establishing a fund to provide payroll tax relief to companies who hire unemployed young people, the long-term unemployed and retrenched workers. Labor has no plans to make any changes in relation to stamp duty, payroll or primary producer registration.

Water Projects

  • $29.4m for stage 1B of the Macalister Irrigation District 2030 modernisation project
  • Completion of the Bunyip Food Bowl pipeline business case
  • Completion of the business case for the Mitiamo stock and domestic pipeline network
  • Fund the Yarra Valley recycled water pipeline
  • Funding for the renewal of priority levee banks
  • Funding for community surface drains
  • $84million to expand the Sunraysia Modernisation Project
  • Investing in on-farm irrigation works
  • Concessional loans for direct diverters
  • Educate and promote more water trading in southern Victoria
CLICK HERE for policy documents

Wild Dogs

  • Continuation and Expansion of Aerial Baiting of wild dogs
  • Create new permit to allow mobile bait manufacturing
  • Continue $100 bounty for wild dogs
CLICK HERE for policy documents

Labor supports the aerial baiting of wild dogs. We also support mobile bait manufacturing.

Labor will not continue the $100 bounty for wild dogs but will liaise with stakeholders to insure this issue is managed.

Wildlife Control

  • Simplify application process for Authority to Control Wildlife Permits
  • Allow culled kangaroos to be processed for pet food and human consumption.
CLICK HERE for policy documents

Young People in Agriculture

  • $600,000 over four years for the YAPs "Future Harvest Project
  • Re-establish the $10,000 First Farm Grant
  • Increase the Young Farmer Finance Scheme to $30m annually (currently $22.5m)
  • Fund a second VFF Food & Fibre Careers Officer
  • Increased TAFE funding for government subsidised agricultural courses. Eligibility should be based on need, not previous qualifications
  • Maintain funding for Certificate II training
  • Support for the establishment of a Primary Industry Centre for Science Education in Victoria
  • Labor has committed to establishing a special Ministerial Advisory Council on Young Farmers to advise the Government on how to attract the next generation of farmers and growers and keep them on the land, and to provide $125,000 per year for a Young Farmers Scholarship program.

    Labor will also invest $7.8 million towards an Environmental and Animal Science Centre in Bendigo as part of our $320 million TAFE Rescue Fund.


Other commitments   • $1 million for the Wangaratta and Euroa Saleyard
$20 million for its Food Source Victoria Plan 
$500 million regional development fund